Purpose: To investigate the feasibility and effect of a functional physical training program on aerobic endurance and walking ability of children with cerebral palsy.
Methods: Thirteen children (8–13 years, Gross Motor Function Classification System level I or II, with normal intelligence or mild retardation) participated in this study. A functional physical training program addressing aerobic endurance, walking distance, walking velocity, and ambulation, consisted of a circuit with 4 stations and lasted 30 minutes twice weekly for 9 weeks. The Bruce, 6-minute-run test, Timed Up and Down Stairs Test, and Ambulation Questionnaire were administered 2 weeks before the start, immediately after, and 11 weeks after the intervention.
Results: Significant improvement in aerobic endurance, walking distance, and ambulation were observed immediately after the intervention. Maximum treadmill time had improved significantly at 11 weeks.
Conclusion: A functional physical training improves the aerobic endurance and the functional walking ability of children with cerebral palsy.